This Kundjeyhmi dictionary allows anyone in the world to access this amazing part of Australia’s cultural heritage for free. Download and explore today!
Kundjeyhmi is one dialect of a chain or dialect group now collectively called Bininj Kunwok ‘The People’s Language’. A 'chain' means that each dialect is a bit different from its neighbours, but people can basically understand each other all the way along the chain. This dialect chain extends from Kakadu in the west to the Liverpool, Mann and Cadell River regions south and south-east of Maningrida. The best known dialect is Kunwinjku, as spoken at Kunbarlanja (Gunbalanya) in western Arnhem Land and on associated outstations. Kundjeyhmi is spoken by several clans in Kakadu National Park, including the traditional owners of Jabiru town and surrounding areas— the Mirarr Kundjeyhmi clan.
Kakadu National Park is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List for both cultural and natural features. The Kundjeyhmi language represents one of the last Indigenous languages still spoken in Kakadu and as such it is an integral part of this globally recognised cultural heritage.
- Over 4000 entries, most with illustrative sentences drawn from naturally occurring speech and conversation.
- Search for Kundjeyhmi or English words
- A verb conjugator which enables formulation of a verb with different pronominal prefixes together with tense, aspect and mood suffixes for the various verb classes. This is an invaluable feature for learners!
- Audio recordings from native speakers for most entries.
- Subject areas include kinship, plants, animals, material culture, public ceremonial topics, place names, traditional stories, weather and environment, the human body and many more.
The dictionary will be an ideal resource for school classrooms, students of Kundjeyhmi, tourists and residents of Kakadu National Park. Kundjeyhmi is an endangered variety of Bininj Kunwok and there are also many Bininj who wish to revive their use of the language. This app will be a useful resource for them also.
This dictionary of the Kundjeyhmi language of Kakadu National Park was developed by the Bininj Kunwok Regional Language Centre. The contents remain the intellectual property of the Language Centre together with the Kundjeyhmi speech community and the compilers. The project was initiated by linguist Nicholas Evans in 1986 when the first linguistic analysis of Kundjeyhmi was conducted as part of a consultancy for what was then called the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Gagudju Association. Evans collected the majority of entries in this dictionary and also developed an orthography for the writing of Kundjeyhmi words.
From 1997 linguist Murray Garde began editing and expanding Evans’ initial lexicon. Garde was supported by an Australian Research Council grant administered by Melbourne University (2006-2009) with more recent work (2010-2019) supported by the Commonwealth Government’s Indigenous Languages and Arts program. Evans and Garde also thank the Australian Research Council for further support through the grant the Wellsprings of Linguistic Diversity (FL130100111) during 2014-2019.
The Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation has also supported the development of this dictionary through the Kakadu and West Arnhem Social Trust. Our foremost acknowledgement for the development of this dictionary however is to those speakers of Kundjeyhmi who taught Evans and Garde about their language, country and culture with insight, patience and humour. These people include: Toby Gangele, Nipper Kapirigi, George Namingum, Minnie Alderson, David Kanari, Eddie Hardy, Ruby Ngalmindadjek, Violet Lawson, Mandy Muir, Jessie Alderson, Judy Alderson, Fred Nagawuli, Shirley Nagawuli, Susan Ngaladjingu, Yvonne Marrgarula, Nida Mangarrbar, Jimmy Wokwok, Bluey Ilgirr, Jacky Namarndali, Josie Maralngurra and Mick Alderson.